Tag Archives: guilt

Update to a tragic story

A brief update to this post.

They’ve locked the website that had her journal entries regarding her child’s medical condition, so that link no longer works.

I think everything I talked about, no matter what the true situation with this mother allegedly trying to suffocate her child, is important is view of our developing medical technology and its ethical application to the suffering and dying.

However, none of it may be applicable in this case.

A possible theory is that the mother has Munchausen’s by proxy. The website I’ve linked to here may not be the best presentation of the “disease,” but it’ll give you the gist.

I felt a certain compassion when I thought the mother may have been attempting euthanasia out of desperation to end the suffering of her baby. But to suppose for a moment that it is Munchausen’s, that the baby may never have been ill or had any birth defects in the first place… unthinkable.

I think of the times when I have accidentally hurt my child… I think the worst one was when my oldest daughter was about one, in my haste I accidentally caught a bit of her belly when I was zipping her footie jammies. There was the tiniest little cut, and she wailed for about three minutes, but the guilt went on for days, until the little owie had healed and went away. Okay, that’s not true, I still feel a little guilty. But I never made that mistake again.

Even having to say no to my child — when we can’t go to the park, when it’s too close to dinner to have another cookie, when I have to finish the dishes and I can’t read a book right now — and seeing them be genuinely sad as a result is difficult for me.

I cannot even fathom hurting a child ON PURPOSE. Your OWN child. Causing your perfectly healthy child to suffer.

I’m not sure I’m going to be able to find any compassion on this one.

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Innocent until accused, guilty until you get it spun professionally

Is it naive of me to think that “innocent until proven guilty” is profoundly meaningful? That this principle is and should always continue to be a sacred tenet of our society?

So why don’t we behave that way. Why, if Roger Clemens is truly and completely innocent of illegal enhancement use, did he have to consult with his lawyers first before holding his press conference?

Mike and Mike on their ESPN radio show this morning tried to convince their listeners that it is normal and acceptable for someone to retreat upon accusation, to make their first phone call be to their lawyer, who will then do the right thing, which is consult other lawyers, ponder, consider, strategize, before finally, after much deliberation, declare the accusations unfounded.

Do they have any idea how guilty it makes them look? Does anyone remember the Ollie North trials where, upon being asked a question, North whispered to his attorney who whispered back, and they carefully constructed his thoughtful response, which was, “I don’t recall.” Come on! Do you expect to have any credibility after such a charade?

And yet they say that what Clemens really wants out of this fight is his reputation restored. Well, I listened to the phone conversation he provided between himself and his accuser, and it was weak, at best. I heard his press conference, and I haven’t seen such ambiguous dancing since my high school prom. If you cared about your reputation at all, wouldn’t you have come out right at the beginning, the next day after the Mitchell report came out, and said, “Bullshit!”?

But according to the talking heads, you can’t do that. Even in your innocence you must have a legal strategy. Is this what we’ve come to? Should the truth require a spin doctor?

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